25/09/2012

By Will Kintish, Business Networking Skills And LinkedIn Authority

Someone asks you what you do and you respond with your best "elevator speech" but nobody seems to be interested. You write emails and marketing material that seems to say the right thing, but very few people respond. You're confused and often deflated because you've targeted your market, talked about all your benefits and value and still you don't get the response you want.

At this point, you may give up marketing completely. You decide that it's just not worth all the effort if nobody is responding to your message. But you sure would like to have a message that actually worked, that got the attention, interest and response you want.

Is there a "secret marketing formula" that you can apply to marketing your services?

The answer is, "yes," and it's the most important marketing principle you'll ever learn. When you finally understand it, you'll think, "That seems to be completely obvious, why didn't I see that before?"

When you use this formula, you will immediately see a
change in the attention, interest and response that your marketing gets.

Let me explain.

The secret is this: When you communicate about your services, most people immediately focus on the benefits and value of the service they offer, that is, the focus is on you. "Here's how we can help you, here's what we do for you, here's what you get if, you work with us." It's all about "Me, me, me."

It's not that you shouldn't communicate all that information at some point. The secret is that you should never communicate it FIRST! You'll have a lot more success when you communicate it SECOND.

You see, when the first words out of your mouth or in a written document are all about you and what you can do, your prospect is actually turned off. They don't feel listened to.

They feel they are being sold to. And that creates immediate resistance. "Here's this person telling all the great things their company can do, and I have no idea if they even
understand my situation."

So if you don't talk about YOU first, what do you say?
You talk about the prospect, about their situation, their challenges, their problems, their pain, their frustrations and even their aspirations and goals.

In the FIRST words of your marketing message, essentially you are saying: "I understand you, I feel your pain, I know what's missing for you now and what it is you want. I've been there before. I completely empathise with your situation."

And there's nothing in the first part of your message that's about you. It's all about them. And guess what? When you're talking about them, they pay attention in a completely
different way.

And this is what generates attention and interest. After you've communicated that clearly, only then do you talk about what it is you can offer that addresses their situation, makes their challenges easier, solves their problems, eases their pain, lessens their frustration and shows the way to achieving their goals.

What I call this method of marketing communication is "Marketing Syntax." You see, syntax is the order of things. If you say things in the right order, they make sense. If you use the wrong order, you don't connect.

Marketing syntax is simple:

1. Talk about their situation, problems and aspirations first.

2. Talk about your outcomes and results second.

3. Talk about stories that demonstrate that someone who was at #1 is now at #2.

4. Explain more benefits, as necessary.

5. Make a call-to-action. Invite them to find out more.

I won't go into #3-#5 in this article as I want to give you some real examples for both verbal and written communication for #1-#2.

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- This is the statement you use when someone asks you what you do. You want to apply marketing syntax. Imagine someone asks "What do you do?" Here are both good and bad examples:

Bad: We help people achieve abundant health and vitality.

Good: We work with people who have chronic health issues.

Bad: I'm a coach who works with people to achieve their goals.

Good: I'm a coach who works with successful people who still get stuck in achieving some of their most important goals.

Bad: I help companies increase profits dramatically.

Good: I work with companies who are dissatisfied with their current profitability.

Bad: I work with professionals to help them attract more high-end clients.

Good: I work with professionals who want to attract more high-end clients but don't know where to start.

Read these over carefully. You'll notice that the bad ones are about what you do, about your results. The good ones are about the prospect's situation, problem, frustration or aspiration.

If you follow the good examples, you'll discover that prospects then want to know more. You can then tell them about the outcomes you produce for clients, share some stories, and explain some benefits.

For a written example, you don't have to go any further than this article. Notice that I opened it with three paragraphs that were all about you and your frustration in not getting the results you wanted with your marketing messages? That drew you in, because you could completely relate to what I was talking about. I showed you that I understood what you were going through. And only after that did I explain what you need to do to get the attention, interests and response you wanted.

This written approach to Marketing Syntax can be used in articles, web copy (especially your home page and services pages), and promotional emails.

I believe that this simple concept, Marketing Syntax, is a key marketing idea you should start to use regularly. You want to become a student of this concept. You want to work at developing messages that use this principle, you want to test and fine-tune your messages, both verbal and written, until you get the attention, interest and response you want.


The author of this article is Will Kintish, leading UK authority on effective and confident networking both offline and online. If you’d like Will to speak at your conference or training workshops, call him on 0161 773 3727. Visit www.kintish.co.uk and www.kintish.tv/ and www.linkedintraining.co.uk for further free and valuable information on all aspects of networking.